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My goodbye to This Is Reno (opinion)

By ThisIsReno
Don Dike-Anukam reports on Facebook Live from Minden as a large crowd of counter-protesters came out to support the local sheriff on Aug. 8, 2020.

Submitted by Don Dike-Anukam

My fellow Nevadans and my fellow Americans, I speak to you not as a political writer, but a citizen after watching the Washington D.C. protests on CSPAN,NBC News andFoxNews. This is me,Don speaking.

I wish to bid adieu to you all today, as I feel it is time to move on. The time is right and I do so knowing that despite the tragedy of yesterday’s events in Washington D.C., American democracy prevailed. We went through a lot in 2020, and yesterday was no different. However, yesterday thugs and masked marchers laid siege to the U.S Capitol and a tragic loss of life occurred.

Those entrusted with the duty of conducting the important counting of the electoral votes continued, undeterred, focused, and in the service of the American people. I leave here knowing that American democracy is strong. At 12:32 a.m. 270 electoral votes were reached, and at 12:45 a.m. PST I watched the count that had been disrupted be completed.

I’m going to try to put into words what many in this community may be feeling right now, after yesterday’s events. The best I can say is: this is not normal. None of this is normal. What we witnessed Wednesday in the heart of the nation’s capital, in the most powerful nation in the world, in OUR NATION, was an act of open sedition and lawlessness.

What was supposed to have transpired in Washington D.C. was the U.S. Congress in a joint session with Vice-President Pence presiding. The end goal was to formally elect both Joseph Biden and KamalaHarris as President and Vice President of the United States. This was alongside the sudden impact of the Democrats’ surprise dual electoral victories in Georgia on Tuesday night with Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff both elected to the U.S. Senate.

That gave the Democrats a 50-50 split in the Senate with Republicans, with Vice President Harris, after Jan. 20, tipping majority control of the Senate to the left.

Tragically, that voting was disrupted and that’s not what happened.

Earlier in the day, U.S. President Donald Trump spoke at a “Save America” rally in the capital. For many, Trump made his intentions on concession crystal clear. When he spoke at the rally, he urged his supporters to object to any future candidates who aren’t Trump-friendly–at all levels of government– promoting baseless conspiracy theories, continuing on his disgraceful, dishonest “I got robbed tour.”

He played to the grievance of theft, without evidence, of the November election. “You never concede and you never give up when there is theft,” Trump said. He urged demonstrators to march on the Capitol, even suggesting “I’ll be with you.”

Trump never went; they did.

The same violent, childlike stupidity that visited Reno in May happened in Washington D.C. on Wednesday. I owe it to you, the people of Reno and the United States, to call out such lawlessness no matter who does it–right or left. It is wrong.

Protesters set a fire outside a heavily damaged City Hall. Image: Ty O'Neil
Protesters set a fire outside a heavily damaged City Hall during a riot May 30, 2020 in downtown Reno. Image: Ty O’Neil

What is worse is that the President of the United States failed to rise to the occasion on Wednesday. The nation needed clear moral leadership and a total repudiation of those who engaged in the lawlessness and wanton destruction of the Capitol. Instead, the President offered a lie-filled, half-hearted apology and statement for calm. He only furthered the poor views that history will have of his administration’s closing days.

The President was preceded in addressing the nation by President-Elect Biden, who denounced the madness at the Capitol.

I applaud Facebook, Twitter and other social media firms for stopping the dissemination of Trump’s misinformation and potential hate speech.

I knowfirsthandwhat protest and grievance looks like. Alternatively, I know what disorder and criminal behavior looks like. These marauders broke into the U.S. Capitol, attempted to desecrate the people’s House and Senate, and a woman was shot and later died. Thus, they ceased to be peaceful; they became criminal actors, engaged in an act of sedition and lawlessness. That cannot be accepted or tolerated. If this had happened in Carson City, and has happened in Reno, law enforcement would have taken action and ordered a dispersal or attempted arrests as they had been warned and asked to leave.

I swore an oath, in the service of the U.S. government, to defend this nation and to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Those people who are our fellow citizens, when they started this set of actions, violated the laws of this land and attempted to undermine the basic fabric of the democratic institutional norms that our nation is founded upon.

They became domestic terrorists on Wednesday when they attempted, without notice or lawful reason, to break into the Capitol. When those who act in a manner to cause harm to the nation, they become enemies of the people of the United States of America. They did so with clear and total intent to usurp power from the people and the duly elected government of the day.

A counter-protester amidst Trump supporters who gathered in Carson City, Nevada outside of the State Legislature on Jan. 6, 2021 to protest the counting of the electoral votes in Washington D.C. Image: Trevor Bexon
A counter-protester amidst Trump supporters who gathered in Carson City, Nevada outside of the State Legislature on Jan. 6, 2021 to protest the counting of the electoral votes in Washington D.C. Image: Trevor Bexon

I owe it to my nation, my state, and my community to ask you to find the moral courage to stand up and say what is right and wrong.

What happened at the Capitol Wednesday to members of the Nevada and federal delegations and their staff is criminal and wrong. As one who is registered in the same party as the President, I also feel an obligation to speak out and show that there are Republicans who are finally fedup with Trump’s actions.I openly ask my fellow Nevada Republicans, elected officials, and members of the federal delegation to reconsider their support of Donald Trump at this hour.

Yes, there may be backlash from members of our community.For those who are willing to support this type of action and behavior in Washington, I dare them to do it here in Reno/Sparks or Carson City and see what happens. I severely doubt they would receive the same type of response that they received in Washington, as it appears that law enforcement’s response was rather restrainedby the denial of use of National Guard as requested by the Mayor and Speaker Pelosi.

I close with this: I thank you for letting me talk to you all. I hope that I have given someone courage today to stand up a little taller. I know this may offend some; I feel I would rather speak openly and honestly than to pretend I agree with you.I often now and going forward will try to speak less of my opinions, more of the facts at hand. As that is my job — PERIOD.

–Editor’s note: Don Dike Anukam has been filing stories and opinions for This Is Reno, mostly as a volunteer, since 2018, and we can’t thank him enough. His selflessness is unparalleled, he’s an all-around tremendous person, and we wish him well on his journey.

Submitted opinions do not represent the views of This Is Reno. Have something to say? Submit an opinion article here.

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